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Diplomat Excellence? Need help please!



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My favorite fountain pens are Waterman Carene (medium) and Sailor Pro Gear (broad).  I find my Pineider Avatar (medium) and Estie (medium and broad) fountain pens to be pretty/beautiful but not exceptional writers. I enjoy the metal weight/solidity of the Carene and love the lines laid down by my two Watermans (both mediums) and my Sailors (Pro Gear and 1911).  
Are steel nibs by nature boring (will the Diplomat nib be the same Jowo as my Estie?) or will a Diplomat Excellence nib be both smooth and have character?

Would a Diplomat Excellence (Evergreen with broad steel nib) be a good choice for me?  Something else?
I grew up with Parker but in recent years have expanded and would be grateful for guidance.  I joined today because participants are so insightful and generous with their knowledge. 

Edited by FB Only
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1 hour ago, FB Only said:

Are steel nibs by nature boring

 

 

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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1 hour ago, FB Only said:

My question stands: will the Diplomat nib be the same Jowo as my Estie?

 

I don't know, since I don't have an Estie, don't want an Estie, and even if I had an Estie I wouldn't want to use it as my frame of reference in any discussion — and that's without my having any prejudices against Esterbrook as a brand the way I do with Parker. Furthermore, I don't use Broad nibs as a rule.

 

This is how the nib on my Diplomat Aero writes:

 

and I wouldn't say it is exactly how another JoWo-made steel EF nib I have writes:

 

 

So, who knows whether those two nibs you asked about will write the same or not? There may even be variation between two nibs (of whichever nib width grade you specify) factory-fitted on two different pens of the same make and model.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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@FB Only Try this. In the search bar at the upper right type in "Diplomat nibs" including the quotation marks. You will probably find the answers you seek.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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I have an Excellene and a Carene (the Excellence is medium, and the Carene is fine).

 

The Excellence A is a nice, steel nib and will write all day, but it is hard - much like the nib on your Carene. You are not going to see a lot of difference.

 

You won't get much in the way of line variation from the Excellence A.

 

I think the Excellence is an excellent pen, but it will give you more of the same of what you have already.  

 

If you love your Carene, then why not buy a broad nib unit for the Carene, which will cost roughly the same as the Excellence A? You'll have a broad 18K nib in a pen that you love already, for roughly the same price as the Diplomat Excellence. 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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sandy101: I really appreciate the input.  Two points: (1) The Carene has a gold (not a silver) nib.  Would a steel Diplomat Excellence nib be as good?  (Is the answer that the Carene nib is also hard and therefore the answer is affirmative?) (2) The Carene medium is pretty broad.  

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The steel Diplomat nib will be as good as the 18K gold nib on the Carene, but it will be almost just as hard. The difference is slight. (I have other 18K gold nibs that are softer). You will get a rigid steel nib, that will write all day. The Diplomat is also a tad heavier. 

 

I agree with you about the nib. Waterman nibs seem to run broader than most brands. I have the Perspective in Medium - and it is what most other European Brands would consider a broad - which is why my Carene is a fine nib - which looks like a medium from other European brands.  

 

 

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I have a Diplomat Excellence (and an Aero) with M steel nib.  Both are ultra-smooth, wettish nibs that I find really pleasant to write with - and that seems to be their reputation in the wider fountain pen community. 

 

Yes, Diplomat nibs are made by JoWo, but to Diplomat's specifications - and in my experience they're a better writer than your "regular" JoWo (i.e. the readily-available screw-in nib units I've purchased with a number of other pens).  Not sure whether that's thanks to JoWo's higher QC when manufacturing for pen companies, or whether Diplomat do their own 'tweaking' of the nibs as they seat them into their pens, but I don't really care: in my (very limited) experience, the result is a really, really nice writing experience.  

 

I have no experience with Diplomat's gold-nib versions - but have seen a few YouTube guys (the Pen Habit, I think?, and maybe Mike Matteson?) say that the steel nibs are so good they don't see the benefit in "upgrading" to gold.  

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The Diplomat Excellence in my experience is a high-end workhorse pen.  It does not have as an expressive nib as the Aurora 88, for example, and is a bit more interesting in my view than most modern Pelikans.  But it is a German fountain pen and they tend to have certain similarities.

 

Erick

 

Using right now:

Recife Traveler "M" nib running PR Blue Suede

Tibaldi Infrangible "F" nib running PR Infinity Red

Diplomat Excellence A+ "EF" nib running Noodler's Heart of Darkness

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Jamerelbe: Thank you for the insights. I think Pen Habit reviewed the gold nib (rave review) but I have seen the comments you mention from others (including Scrively). I wish Matt Armstrong had also reviewed the steel nib!
 

Iangere: Your comment fascinated me: “bit more interesting in my view than most modern Pelikans.”  Would you elaborate please (I don’t have a Pelikan but it seems to have a devoted following)?

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@FB, sorry I haven't answered before.  I was busy grading papers...

 

I find that modern Pelikans have a nail"ish" quality that makes them pretty similar and not as interesting as, say, an Aurora or a Delta.  Keep in mind, I have more Pelikans than any other brand, so it is not that I am against Pelikan.  I have them for other reasons, including their beauty, the best pistons in the business and then, of course, there are the vintage ones, of which I have many and that have a great variety of nib experiences.

 

Hope this helps and that, in any case, you enjoy your Diplomat!  You will not regret it -

 

Erick

 

Using right now:

Recife Traveler "M" nib running PR Blue Suede

Tibaldi Infrangible "F" nib running PR Infinity Red

Diplomat Excellence A+ "EF" nib running Noodler's Heart of Darkness

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Jerome Tarshis

If I may expand a little on langere's posting above, I think I can say that both Pelikan and Montblanc nibs of the 1950s and at least the early 1960s tend to give a bouncier and all-round livelier sensation when one writes with them than their nibs of the present day. With Pelikan the exception seems to be the steel nibs of the M200 series and related pens, which have retained the liveliness of earlier decades.

 

Different people have different preferences, and I myself enjoy Parker 51 very-rigid nibs and, in a different way, some of my bouncy 1950s nibs. It is also true that many old-time nibs were exceedingly rigid.

 

People's tastes change. One may evolve from loving rigid, carefree nibs to loving flexible nibs, which reward paying much more attention when writing with them. Or one  may change in the other direction, as Deb Butler of Goodwriters Pens has done.

 

To the extent that this is a hobby for us, not a clerical job in a Dickensian office, I'd never say it is the entire purpose of a nib to lay down ink uneventfully. But for some use cases and some users uneventfulness and implacable smoothness are precisely what's wanted.

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3 hours ago, FB Only said:

I received my pen today.  Great writer, dignified look and solid feel.  I am delighted! Thanks again to all of you who gave me good advice. 

 

Good to hear it - can't wait to see the photo! 😉

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Jamerelbe

Yep, that's a beautiful pen alright!  Mine is Marrakesh with chrome 'furniture' - if green had been available at the time, I might have gone for it instead though!

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Yes, great pen and great acquisition - I predict that you will love your pen.

 

Erick

 

Using right now:

Recife Traveler "M" nib running PR Blue Suede

Tibaldi Infrangible "F" nib running PR Infinity Red

Diplomat Excellence A+ "EF" nib running Noodler's Heart of Darkness

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